Fetal Exposure to Sertraline Hydrochloride Impairs Pancreatic β-Cell Development
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Ten percent to 15% of women take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy. Offspring exposed to SSRIs are more likely to have low birth weight; this is associated with an increased risk of development of diabetes in adulthood in part due to altered pancreatic development. The effects of perinatal exposure to SSRIs on pancreatic development are unknown. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the effect of fetal exposure to sertraline hydrochloride on pregnancy outcomes and pancreatic development. Wistar rats were given vehicle (n = 5) or sertraline hydrochloride (10 mg/kg/d; n = 8) via daily subcutaneous injection from the confirmation of mating until parturition. Results from this animal model demonstrated that offspring born to sertraline-exposed dams have no changes in birth weight but had a reduction in pancreatic β-cell area. The altered pancreatic islet development was a result of altered gene expression regulating islet development and survival. Therefore, fetal exposure to sertraline reduces β-cell capacity at birth, raising concerns regarding the long-term metabolic sequelae of such exposures.
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